About my garden

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Nasturtium - jewels of Autumn

I sow a few Nasturtiums every year but they also seed about by themselves so I have quite an abundance of them now. I usually buy a cheap packet somewhere as an extra to the seeds I plan and order in January. After all, there is not much else to do in the garden at that time of year or if there is, you don't want to go out! 
I can't resist the bright colours though I also like the creamy ones too.
The Nasturtiums come up quietly rather later than some seedlings and grow away unobtrusively until late summer and Autumn when suddenly they burst into flower with the most wonderful colours. 

Notice the caterpillar here. For some reason this year they have not been destroyed by caterpillars or blackfly. That is the downside of course, and some people grow them as a sacrificial crop to attract the butterflies away from their brassicas. Often some of my plants are long gone by this time but sometimes they come back for a second wind.
This year they have made huge plants growing over beds and paths.

These marbled leaves are lovely and, of course you can eat them too. I don't think I sowed these this year but then again, maybe I did. 
This year I have been cutting and using them in vases. They last a few days before shrivelling up but I pick some autumn leaves, seed heads and grasses and put them all in a vase. When the flowers go over I just whip them out and put in a few more.

The bright, velvety flower are all the more precious at this time of year as you know their days are numbered. They'll be cut down at the first frost and I'll be back to looking at seed packets and planning for next year.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Autumn clear up begins

Actually there is not much to clear up yet. There still seems to be a lot of green growth about but this didn't look so good:

A few weeks ago they were lush courgette plants. I was leaving them as they still had tiny courgettes on them but today was in the mood for a clear up. This is what I found hiding:

I can have a couple more tastes of summer. The small ones are about finger size! My fingers - small.
Also, on the path between these two bed I found magic beans:
I'm not sure what season they think it is. I reject any beans which have got too big and stringy so this must have been one of those. 
Anyway, I pulled up the dead courgette plants and piled them onto the very full compost heap. There is some grass on top as well. This will all settle down quite a lot.

 I have started to dig out this one but have not got much space to spread it yet so it is going to take a while. I'd really like to turn the other one into it.

 This is the courgette bed now. Weeded and covered in a good layer of compost. The soil had sunk quite a bit as it was a new bed. I left the beans so I can collect the seed when they are dry. There are a few beans left but they are much too big to eat.

These are the Bridgwater beans I'm saving for seed. They are a heritage variety that I got from a seed swap a few years ago.

This is a bag of bedding  plants I took up for someone I work for. She doesn't have a compost heap or a garden bin so I brought them home. They are begonias and geraniums. They will be fine on the compost heap. They are soft and sappy and disease free. I'm always happy to collect material from elsewhere!

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Garden Visit - The Courts, Holt, Wiltshire

This is a NT garden, which I have been to before but decided to visit again last weekend. It was a bitter cold day but not wet so that was one good thing. I had a new camera which I wanted to try out. I wasn't very pleased with it but have since discovered that I had some of the settings wrong so now I'll have to go back and try again!
It's a wonderful place, I'd be very happy to visit again and again. My son,who is training as an arborist, bounced around testing me on tree names. I'm not great and he is great. Then questioning me about shrubs, on which I am a little better. 
Here are some pictures which came out ok:
Lovely Rudbekia

Fruit pods of Koelreuteria paniculata, leaves above. ( I know this as it said on it!).

Bark is so beautiful

Cercis canadensis

 There is an arboretum as well as the formal garden. Also a vegetable garden and orchard.
These look like stooped people walking across the lawn.
Indian Bean Tree

 Suddenly we came across compost heaps. Imagine having all that space to collect and process your compost. I can't help getting excited about compost heaps. 

You got to the end, thanks for indulging me. Actually most of the photos are not too bad it seems!

Tuesday 14 October 2014

A few more flowers for cutting.

I've got some Chrysanthemums flowering now. The plants have survived, despite neglect, since last year and are now producing wonderful flowers. I love this soft rose colour. The flowers last for about two weeks in a vase.
Here they are with Salvia patens, amaranthus and stocks.

This is a wonderful yellow one.

 Scabiousa atropurpurea 'Tall double mixed'  great fillers for a  vase. Very dainty flowers in shades of pink and also wonderful dark colours.

 I like lots of green in my arrangements and jasmine is growing all over my garden this year in spite of being chopped back hard, or maybe because of.... So had  been put to good use.

I've tried to grow Zinnias since someone gave me some in a bouquet a few years ago. They seem to be tricky and I have mixed results but this one is lovely. They also last a long time in water.

Stocks in shades of pink and purple. I cut these back about six weeks ago and they have been flowering madly ever since. Still smelling wonderful, enough to scent a room.

I'm still managing to cut things now, in October so I'm very pleased but Autumn is definitely creeping in. Shades of yellow and orange are gradually taking over but the general look is bedraggled just now. After a sunny September it is now wet, wet wet. However, I have just been out and collected these things. After removing hitchiking snails and spiders, this is what I made: